This year I actually wanted to send Christmas cards (not to be confused with the actual sending of them). Every year, as people go their various ways for Christmas vacation, I find myself wanting to connect with all my friends before they leave, whether they’re close and I saw them last week or far and I haven’t seen or talked with them in months.
I’ve been wondering why the need to be together is so strong right now and why waiting until January feels like missing a critical moment. After all it’s only a couple of weeks. No other two-week period has that sense of urgency for me.
I think it’s because the Christmas spirit, which people of any or no religion can enjoy, comes alive when we notice love being born into the world. Love is always being born into the world, but we are impatient and easily distracted beings and often miss it. Luckily, we are also ritualistic beings, and so we build into our lives times to stop and pay attention. When an entire culture pauses and takes the time to celebrate that love, you can feel it.
And when you do, you might want to send Christmas cards or drop five bucks in the Salvation Army bucket or let someone go in front of you in line. Because we are the ones who birth love into the world. As with children or art or any other act of creation, it comes both from us and through us—we participate in its coming into being but are not its only source.
We tend and grow this love in our many relationships, and so of course, when love is in the air, there is an urge to reconnect. To all of you who will probably not, despite my best intentions, receive cards from me: I love you.
Note: The blog and I will be on vacation for the next two weeks. Wishing you all a merry Christmas and joyful new beginnings at the solstice and the turn of the year.